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Master Plan Development

Project Development

Facilities and Maintenance Services, with the permission of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, contracted the assistance of MGT Consulting Services, LLC (MGT) to develop an up-to-date Long-Range Facilities Master Plan.

The District's Administrative Policy 5.01 establishes the need for a long-range facilities master plan for the District as required under Wis. State Statute 119.16(3m). The District is required through the state statute to provide a facilities master plan to address the overall condition of MPS structures.  The District was interested in providing a more in-depth analysis or its resources and requested MGT to be provided a full analysis on educational adequacy for all schools along with an actionable plan that will serve as a roadmap for facility use, classroom modernization, and capital investment. The plan will focus on identifying additional programming, instructional, and partnership opportunities and will also provide actionable recommendations for investment or divestment of current building inventory to maximize the use of resources. 

In order to accomplish this large task, the gathering of information was broken into four components:

  • Analysis of Educational Trends
  • Collection and Review of Community Input and Relevant Data
  • Facility Condition Review of all Buildings and Grounds
  • Educational Adequacy Review of all School Buildings

Over the past several months MGT has visited every school to review and rate the condition of the building infrastructure and the educational adequacy of all classroom spaces.  An analysis of enrollment trends, program and building capacities, deferred and projected capital maintenance, ADA accessibility, and equity (with a focus on neighborhood characteristics such as income, poverty, crime, and minority population).

Public Engagement

MGT met with a number of staff members from all areas of the District, conducted two rounds of Community Conversation Sessions, attended small community gatherings and held discussions with numerous MPS stakeholders.

Round One of Community Conversations took place in November 2017 (flyer):

  • South Division High School (Southwest Region, District No. #6)
  • Bay View High School (East Region, District No. #8)
  • Hopkins-Lloyd School (Central Region, District No. #4)
  • Madison High School (Northwest Region, District No. #1)

Round Two of Community Conversations took place in January 2018 (flyer):

  • Obama School of Career & Technical Education (Northwest Region, District No. #3)
  • Milwaukee School of Languages (Northwest Region, District No. #2)
  • Riverside University High School (East Region, District No. #5)
  • Audubon High School (Southwest Region, District No. #7)


In January 2018 we asked the community to take a survey as part of the information gathering process for the Long-Range Facilities Master Plan. The response was greater than ever before for this type of project! Thank you for your input!  


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  What is a Long Range Facilities Master Plan?

A Long Range Facilities Master Plan is a process that includes the following elements:

  • A review of current standards and plans
  • A review of local and national trends in education and facility design
  • A review of how effectively our facilities support current district programs and the strategic plan.
  • An update of current facility standards
  • Facility assessments including building/site conditions, educational adequacy, and technology readiness
  • A demographic analysis and incorporation of district enrollment projections
  • Development of building and program capacities
  • Analysis of attendance, and feeder patters and grade configurations
  • A review of opportunities for partnering with community agencies/groups
  • Recommendations for the best, most effective use of the district’s educational and administrative/support facilities
  • HUB and student engagement programs.

Furthermore, it is an actionable plan that recognizes educational programs drive facility decisions and long-range plans, and not vice versa.  Facility planning must be transparent and inclusive, must involve the stakeholders throughout the process, and must represent the community’s priorities and best practices for a 21st Century school district.

  Who is conducting the Master Plan for Milwaukee Public Schools?

MPS is working closely with a nationally recognized vendor, The MGT Consulting Group (MGT), along with partners David Mason & Associates, and CESA 10 – a Wisconsin based Cooperative Educational Service Agency.

  If we completed a plan in 2011, why are we doing one again?

Over the course of the last six years there has been a significant amount of positive change within MPS.  Many new program offerings have been developed which include career and technical education courses, the creation of new partnerships leading to a focus on community schools, school based parent centers, after school twilight centers, new college access centers, the introduction of an early start calendar, along with a significant number of advances in the use of technology and other methods of delivering high quality education.

In light of these recent changes and the accelerated pace at which change occurs it's important for MPS to have an updated actionable long range facilities master plan that can serve as a roadmap for facility use, classroom modernization, and capital investment. The plan will also provide additional insight on current and future opportunities for improved programming, enhanced instructional delivery, and increased family involvement and community partnerships which further advance progress toward reaching our goals of Academic Achievement, Student, Family and Community Engagement, and Effective and Efficient Operations.

  How much of the 2011 plan was implemented?

Approximately 75% of the 2011 plan recommendations were implemented.  Further input from stakeholders and thoughtful consideration of community impact prior to implementation of all recommendations resulted in some proposed changes not being fully implemented.

  How are conditions being evaluated, for example “School X needs a fieldhouse/gym added to the current facility. Is it inequitable that only a portion of the students can sit on the bleachers in the gym of a school with 1300+ students?

Each school will be evaluated from both an educational and building condition adequacy standpoint and the results will be provided as a part of the completed Long Range Plan.  Items such as the size of the gym and/or other areas of the building will be included in the evaluation and identified as to what would be required to adequately accommodate its student population for athletic and other events.  For example, the standard is that each HS will have a gym that seats the entire student body.  Given the above description, the school would not meet the standard for size of seating in the gym and would be included in discussions as we determine the priority needs of the district.

  How has Milwaukee Public Schools asked for community and parent input?

Community Input and engagement are important components of this project.  We have provided 4 community input meetings that included background information about the project, a live polling session where participants responded to a series of questions, and a small group discussion session.  The community can also provide input regarding the same questions using the online survey that will be available until early January.

Additionally, we are providing space for community input at various events, including Midnight Basketball and other recreation program events and tournaments.

Community input is always welcomed through these or any channels.  We want to hear from you.

  Is there any other way a community member, parent, teacher, etc. can provide input?

Please provide feedback - link.

  Are Green & Healthy School Initiatives included in the planning process?

Yes, MPS will continue to include Green & Healthy School Initiatives in the planning process.  MPS has a long history of practicing sustainability measures within our existing and new buildings and prides itself in maintaining structures well past their expected lifespan.  We routinely look for new opportunities to reduce energy consumption by paying close attention to the building envelope, boilers, roofs, plumbing, and electrical systems. 

In addition to our maintenance history record, MPS has met and exceeded utility performance measures resulting in over forty buildings achieving the Energy Star Label.

  What is the future of vacant MPS schools?

Vacant MPS buildings offer both an opportunity and a challenge.  The opportunities might come by finding a new use for them to support district programs.  The challenges come if the space is in poor condition or cannot be repurposed for district use.  We are conducting a comprehensive review of all buildings, including both the condition and the adequacy to support 21st Century learning or other district uses.  We are also assessing the need for spaces – how many students can each building house based on the planned program(s) and uses.  Our goal is to create a plan that outlines the short- and long-term needs for spaces and identifies a re-purposing plan for any vacant schools. 

  When will the Master Plan be submitted publicly to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and how will the public have an opportunity to review and provide comments?

The Master Plan will be submitted to the MPS School Board in Spring 2018 and made available to the community via recommendation to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.

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